De-Stress With Healthy Choices

Stress is unavoidable. It can be a positive motivator or a negative oppressor, depending on the situation and severity. Pressure can wreak havoc on the body causing anxiety, headaches, stomach upset, and even sleep problems. Whether the stress is monumental or small, the importance of relaxing and incorporating stress management strategies is undeniable. The positive implications 1 of combating stress will also contribute to a multitude of other health and wellness benefits, making this practice helpful for avoiding future struggles.

“You are what you eat.” This is abundantly true when you examine the effect of healthy eating on stress levels in the body. Cortisol is a steroid hormone released in response to stressful stimuli. However, an increase in cortisol level can contribute to a suppressed immune system, sleep deprivation, and even weight gain due to overeating. This happens because historically a stress response came down to life or death – you don’t need to use your immune or digestive systems when you’re running away from a bear!

You can combat stress by introducing a low-carbohydrate meal towards the end of the day, which in turn reduces the levels in your body. Additionally, you can manage stress naturally by looking for these ingredients.

  • Tryptophan: found in turkey breast, causing a calming effect in the body directly linked to serotonin.
  • Folate: abundant in leafy greens, which helps the body produce dopamine.
  • Omega 3’s: found in salmon, can reduce cortisol.
  • Antioxidants: common in berries and can eliminate the free radicals that contribute to toxicity and stress in the body.
You can combat stress from the inside out by introducing a healthier diet into your routine. Substituting sugar for healthy snacks like hummus and vegetables will keep you satiated and lessen the impact of stress. Oats and other complex carbohydrates first thing in the morning can prime your system for the tasks ahead. Furthermore, taking time to exercise and utilize better time management will keep you on the path to success. Being prepared with a foundation of nutrition and positive pro-activity will keep you bouncing back.

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